Sunday, March 20, 2016

Stiff-Necked People

“I have seen these people,” the Lord said to Moses, “and they are a stiff-necked people.” –Exodus 32:9

When we first adopted Lexi—before she’d had any training—our attempts to walk her would often end with a wrestling match in which my husband or I would grab Lexi’s collar and drag her home. We couldn’t control her with the leash because she would bite the leash, shake it vigorously between her teeth, and jerk it with her jaws. She was uncooperative, to say the least. We humans can be uncooperative, too. In fact, we’re stubborn. Like Lexi, we refuse to follow [God’s] commands. What if God put a collar around our stiff necks and dragged us where he wanted us to go? Exodus 32:25 describes the Israelites’ behavior when they were walking with God in the wilderness: “Moses saw that the people were running wild and that Aaron had let them get out of control….” Yet God didn’t drag them to the Promised Land. Instead God strove to build a relationship with them—as he does with each of us. We learn to trust him, to obey him, and to be led by his greater wisdom. Eventually Lexi learned to trust me and to obey me, and now we walk together without any stiff-necked stubbornness or dragging by the collar. God wants us to walk with him in communion, too.

Dear God, Thank you for building a relationship with me rather than dragging me where you would have me go. Amen.


  1. When we learned to distract Lexi by scattering hotdog chunks on the ground, we no longer had to grab her collar and drag her home. We scatter hotdog chunks; God scatters manna.